If it would not entail
a further falling in love,
I’d write to you again.
Instead, I drive as far
as it takes, before I can
drive back, because it’s dark
or as dark as early summer
All this, to put to bed
a love and loss that’s wrong
for us – wrong for the time –
with its genius for the same
or something like:
proxy, clone, replacement,
substitute. You’ll find
another me – just look.
Lovers in the paintings
hold each other as they fly,
distance neither here nor there.
With past and future the lovers are
face to wondering face.
Lovers in the paintings do not know
what’s done is over,
the distant out of reach.
If I had known how much
I’d care what I am in your eyes
or why it is I cannot share the grief
of your being so long-gone
except with you –
A summer afternoon and the children from
the local school are speaking so that I
can hear them, entirely in obscenities.
We have handed them a world devoid of art,
a breeding-ground for anyone to play
the psychopathic genius.
no opinion. My apatheia thrives
on age and the beta-blocker; as for myself
I have wasted too much time on that mirage.
Now out of the wood to the car, the sun’s applause.
What happens is a series of dissolves
and my day without a centre nears its end.
Let me cover your scarred, profound mouth,
your breasts, your long, innocent and forgetful thighs,
with kisses and loving words!
In ways that only you could know,
love has unmasked a sanctimonious
dissembler and as true a man
as I will ever be.
When I am in this mood
the thought of what other men
have discovered in you, finds
me magnanimous (as well as slightly aroused).
Mine is a love I cannot help, but that
will never be reason to resent you – flawed,
surprising, ordinary woman that you are.
Against the coral sky
a light wind bends three poplars
into abstract ecstasies
800 miles from you.
It seems we are exhausted
by love’s return. You think us too old
to make it new again.
I’m nervous, yes, but only because I can’t wait
for the steadying pulse of your voice,
alive with everyday concerns.
Sweetheart, use these words as
your mirror; and it won’t be against age
that I close my eyes
when we are together.